Sustainable Farming

Farming for the Future

Achieving a sustainable food system is critical to ensuring an abundant and healthy food supply for generations to come. While Maryland boasts a richness and diversity of sustainable farms, they make up a minority of agricultural operations in our state.

Maryland families want healthy, delicious, affordable local food, grown responsibly. Installing a fair system – one that rewards good stewardship and sustainable practices – is the best way to achieve this for Maryland’s future.

Sustainable Farming Defined Goat Eating Greens Shine and Rise Farm

  • Fair Farms considers sustainable farming to be the production of agricultural products in a way that:
    • preserves the environment on the farm and beyond;
    • enriches the lives of farmers, their communities, and the population as a whole; and
    • restores the health and welfare of farmed animals.

Sustainability in the Larger Food System

  • Sustainable agriculture doesn’t stop at the farm gate—it’s part of a larger sustainable food system. Sustainable food distribution systems rely on local or regional networks of sustainable farms.  Products are usually sold directly to consumers through farmers’ markets, consumer-supported agriculture, farm shares, and co-ops, or directly to restaurants, food services, and food hubs.
  • To successfully pursue sustainability, every farmer needs access to facilities and equipment to harvest, store, process, and sell their products in a fair and efficient way.

What do Sustainable Farmers Look Like?Workers at Shine and Rise Farm - May not be high enough quality

  • Visionary farmers who practice sustainable farming protect their waterways from runoff and erosion, care for their animals, raise food without harmful chemicals, and make the food available at local farmers’ markets.
  • They use techniques like regenerative farming, which produces healthy food while preserving or restoring the health of the soil. By using crop or livestock rotation, composting and other techniques, farmers can maintain a sustainable, pesticide-free environment on their farms.

Fair Farms celebrates farmers and businesses – small and large – that adopt visionary farm practices. Properly managing farmland means investing in practices and policies to preserve and restore farmland for the use, education, and enjoyment of future generations.

Latest Posts


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    Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern Since March, challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed many flaws in our food system. From empty shelves in grocery stores to meatpacking facility closures, consumers have become ever more conscious of the complicated system that brings food to our plates. Farmers around the country have also had ...
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    Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern 1) If You’re Eating Meat, Look for Grassfed  The meat industry has been criticized for the ways in which it has contributed to greenhouse gas emissions. Some people switch to a vegetarian, vegan, or simply less-meat-heavy diet in order to reduce their carbon footprint. However, not all meat production is ...
  • Supporting Black-Owned Food and Farm BusinessesSupporting Black-Owned Food and Farm Businesses
    Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern Sometimes challenging moments can bring up a feeling of paralysis. The fear and very real health repercussions of the pandemic along with civil unrest are a lot to process and weigh even heavier on our Black and Brown community members. If you’re looking for a way to create small ...
  • Living Local : Bluebird FarmsLiving Local : Bluebird Farms
    This article was written by as part of the “Living Local: Small-Scale, Large Impact” project by Chandler Joiner, Environmental Educator at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. Nancie Corbett always dreamed of growing the perfect tomato. “My first goal was to grow the most perfect, best tasting tomato. The kind you remember eating out of your yard ...
  • Take the Pledge for Healthy Soil!Take the Pledge for Healthy Soil!
    Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s Clear Choices Clean Water campaign added a new pledge on healthy soils to emphasize the importance of soil health and how integral soil is to food production, water sources, and the climate and environment in general. Here at Fair Farms, we’re excited about this new pledge that ...

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